Ideas for saving money this Christmas
Christmas can be an expensive time of year for families, but you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a lot of fun. Make sure you’re not letting Christmas get you into unnecessary debt with these ideas for saving money this Christmas.
1. Cut back on the number of presents
More often than not, people go overboard with Christmas presents. If you’re from a large family, why not try a secret Santa or lucky dip draw instead, or just but for the kids?
2. Write a list and set a gift budget, then stick to it
If you are buying gifts, write yourself a gift list before you shop and agree on the same spend limit for everyone. Then stick to it. Retail deals like buy 2 get the third free will often cost you more money, so don’t buy what you don’t need or can’t afford.
3. Give homemade gifts
Have you ever heard the saying “the best gifts are from the heart”? Try making homemade gifts like baking or crafts, or donate your time as a gift like helping out with a DIY project. For kids you can make fun Christmas themed gifts like “Reindeer Poo” chocolate covered raisins.
4. Buy second-hand
If you do want to buy, head down to your local Hospice, Op Shop or Salvation Army Store to pick up something second hand. You could also do White Elephant where you re-gift something you already own which can be a really fun game for family to play.
5. Shop for groceries smartly
Set a budget for your food, plan your menu and write a detailed list of what you’re going to need before you start buying. Shop around for the best prices and don’t just go to your normal supermarket – you might get a better discount somewhere else like Asian grocers or weekend markets in Auckland that often have cheaper ingredients and produce.
6. Don’t over-do it on the food
Make sure you only buy what you need. Most people over-eat at Christmas and not only is it bad for your waistline, it’s bad for your wallet too. If you’re hosting get everyone to pitch in and make sure you know who is coming so you don’t over-cater. UK website lovefoodhatewaste.com has a portion calculator that you can use to help you figure out how much food you may need.
7. Cut down or cut out the alcohol
During the summer months in NZ it can be easy to bring out the beer and wine while the weather is nice and the bbq’s are happening. But cutting down or cutting out the alcohol all together is better for your health and better for your bank balance.
8. Make some cash by selling something you don’t use
Have you got things in your house that you no longer need like items children have outgrown? Maybe you can sell them on Trade Me to free up some holiday cash.
The most important thing to remember is Christmas is just one day of the year so make sure you stick to your budget and only spend what you can afford.
We wish all of our members and your families a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.